Our hearts are with all the people who are suffering short and long term damage from the recent string of hurricanes and record rainfalls and flooding bombarding the Caribbean islands, the Gulf South of the US, and now across Florida and Georgia.
With recent news of Mexico experiencing another intense earthquake Saturday morning, concerns grow for the thousands left homeless in areas where citizens still live in “temporary housing” provided in response to the devastation caused in the 1985 Mexico City Earthquake.
The tremor, registering a 6.1 magnitude yesterday, was centered in Oaxaca causing more damage in Tonala, the city hit hardest in the 8.1 September 7th quake. Combine this with the unprecedented destruction in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Jose, and Irma, catastrophic flooding in Asia, record-breaking heat waves in California, and raging wildfires across the West, and we are witnessing the new normal of catastrophic climate change. Meanwhile, the response from the federal government has been insufficient.
Last week, Climate Justice Alliance held its first national call in response to these escalating climate disasters to share what our member groups are experiencing on the ground in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Haiti. We are moving into our second phase of work with frontline groups on the ground to assess and rebuild with a collective vision for a Just Recovery. As It Takes Roots, we are tracking ways to support frontline communities on the ground in the regions impacted by these climate disasters. We are also working with local grassroots groups and networks to provide crucial resources and support to those in immediate need.
Support the local Grassroots Forces on the Ground
As the impacts are still being assessed, we are tracking relief efforts that are led by grassroots organizations supporting frontline communities in the affected regions. We strongly urge donating resources and support directly to grassroots organizations who are consistently more likely use relief funds in accountable ways, in their own communities, and get relief directly to where it is most needed based on their collective priorities.
“In these moments of crisis, women and girls of color and low-income families are hit the hardest. We need gender rights to be at the center of the relief efforts. Miami is a climate frontline. We have faced these disasters every year. The government is pushing low-income women and girls into conditions of poverty through their lack of planning and denial of climate change. We hold both polluter unaccountability and government inaction fully responsible for how our communities are suffering.” - Marcia Olivo, Miami Workers Center
“One of the most dangerous unaddressed issues is chemicals present in floodwater. Our focus will be low-income areas that sit on the fence-line of refineries, chemical storage facilities and industrial zones. These are homes that are at the highest risk of toxic waters. Our efforts will focus on cleanup efforts in these frontline communities.” - Juan Parras, T.E.J.A.S.
“While avoiding the bullseye of the storm, Hurricane Irma poured more than 20 inches of rain and hurled damaging winds along the northern regions of the country. Roads and highways have been washed away, along with farms and homes in the economically impoverished nation. Many peasants are affected, with huge losses in agriculture and livestock. It is a disaster for the peasant economy." - Ricot Jean-Pierre, the Platform to Advocate for Alternative Development in Haiti (PAPDA)
"The Climate has changed. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Katia lay bare the true devastation of the fossil fuel economy, capitalist over-consumption, and the lack of concrete action by governments to regulate polluters and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the source. Rebuilding after the hurricanes is also an opportunity for activists and organizers to see this as part of our long term work. It’s time to call on government from local to national to invest in the real solutions people are finding on the ground, from commandeering school buses to free train or plane tickets, opening up parking garages to secure cars, opening empty condos for temporary housing. Our communities and planet are resistant and resilient.” - Cindy Wiesner, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ)
Visit this Grassroots Hurricane Recovery page and see below for a list of funds and grassroots relief efforts in Miami, Houston, Puerto Rico and Haiti. We’ll update this page as we discover more ways to support.
TAKE ACTION TO SUPPORT FRONTLINE COMMUNTIES
GIVE TO MEXICO - Almost 300 people have been killed in Mexico’s recent quakes and many more are still missing. Aid Brigada Topos, the rescue brigade who trains rescue workers and has teams extremely prepared to aid in disasters not only in Mexico, but all over the world. The first urgent priority is the search and rescue mission happening to save lives now. Finding housing for those who can't return to damaged structures will be the second phase of the recovery effort.
Bank Account: Santander 92000709294
GIVE TO HOUSTON - At least seven Houston-area Superfund sites were flooded in the record-breaking Harvey deluge. 517 containers of "unidentified, potentially hazardous material” have been recovered by the EPA and 315,000 gallons of potentially contaminated stormwater have been removed so far. However, the PRP Group (Potentially Responsible Parties) and their remediation contractors, tasked with the U.S. Oil Recovery site cleanup, reports that it cannot determine how much contamination leaked from tanks into the soil and nearby bayous. The recent t.e.j.a.s Harvey Fund monies raised for Houston recovery have helped t.e.j.a.s. distribute re-entry kits in the five communities they serve helping residents safely remove toxic chemicals from their flooded homes. They have also been able to help some displaced families who have lost everything by replacing basic necessities such as beds and clothes. Help continue funding the recovery of these fenceline communities and the environmental cleanup in Houston by donating to t.e.j.a.s.
GIVE TO FLORIDA - Florida farmers have lost more than 80 percent of their crops after Irma according to Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. Flooded fields and groves of vegetables and citrus including tomatoes, avocados, corn and oranges are so heavily damaged, it may be months before work is available to those who had very little before the hurricane. Farmers need to replant their crops by mid-October or they may lose the opportunity to earn an income for the rest of the year. With the additional fear of deportation due to the termination of DACA, some families have chosen to return to their communities and remain in storm-damaged dwellings still without electricity and water. Support farmworker recovery after Hurricane Irma by donating to FWAFL, Miami Workers Center to support recovery efforts for women and girls in Liberty City, Little Haiti, Overtown, Little Havana and across Miami, or the Hurricane Irma Community Recovery Fund anchored by the New Florida Majority and partner organizations.
GIVE TO HAITI - While avoiding the bullseye of the storm, Hurricane Irma dropped more than 20 inches of rain and hurled damaging winds along the northern regions of the country. Roads and highways have been washed away, along with farms and homes in the economically impoverished nation. Many peasants are affected, with huge losses in agriculture and livestock. It is a disaster for the peasant economy already in the midst of political upheaval. Donate to support the movements in Haiti doing community-based disaster response and recovery via Grassroots International.
GIVE TO PUERTO RICO - Hurricane Maria cut off 100% of power to the whole of Puerto Rico and it could be months until it is restored. In the northwest of the island, government officials are creating additional confusion and uncertainty with conflicting “official” statements regarding the damaged Guajataka River Dam which prompted an initial call for the evacuation of 70,000 people in towns downstream of the reservoir. Although the structure has been significantly compromised, people are returning to their homes today after a spillway was opened Saturday night to lessen the pressure on the dam and the lake water is now receding. Governor Ricardo Rossello and the US National Weather Service (NWS) are still concerned that the dam will “give way at any moment.” There are also 23 Superfund sites in Puerto Rico, including a former U.S. naval testing range in Vieques. “The hurricane was extremely strong, so it's a big disaster down here, but we are bouncing back up with solidarity and the Puerto Rican spirit. Right now we are fixing roofs, cleaning drains, etc. Nevertheless, the infrastructure right now in the country is very damaged, so nothing is open. The country is completely classified as a disaster zone. All of the agriculture is gone. The impact of María was so strong that green landscapes and ecosystems in Puerto Rico are now brown with lots of fallen trees. Most of the infrastructure of small and medium scale farms is very damaged. The majority of the population doesn't have communication, no service and signals are very low. I walked 30 minutes from where I live to find the bit of signal in which I'm sending this message. We are asking the international community to help donating whatever you can to help Puerto Rico and its ecological agriculture,” Jesús Vázquez of Proyecto Agroecológico El Josco Bravo.
Donate to Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecológica de Puerto Rico, a 28 year old grassroots organization that works and promotes agroecology within the food sovereignty struggle. Boricuá, is the official Chapter in Puerto Rico of the international peasant movement: La Vía Campesina (LVC) - Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Organizaciones del Campo (CLOC). Boricuá is a network of peasants (campesinos/as), farmers, farm workers, educators and activists that is deeply involved in a national social justice movement that builds a sustainable agriculture platform for small and medium scale peasants and farmers.
Account Number, Banco Popular: #162039034
- Study Finds Top Fossil Fuel Producers’ Emissions Responsible for as Much as Half of Global Surface Temperature Increase, Roughly 30 Percent of Global Sea Level Rise, Huffington Post
- “We should be naming hurricanes after Exxon and Chevron, not Harvey and Irma,” New Republic
- Florida governor has ignored climate change risks, critics say, Washington Post
- Decades of neglect, inequality, and disenfranchisement mean that all Houstonians, but especially the poorest and most vulnerable, have been left utterly undefended, The Nation
- Environmental Crisis Unfolding in Houston as Oil & Chemical Industry Spew Toxic Pollutants into Air, Democracy Now